weddings

The new gift-giving trend ensuring couples get wedding presents they won't hate.

How do I get the presents I actually want for my wedding day without seeming greedy?

It’s the modern dilemma that engaged couples struggle with. Do you go with a gift registry? Does a wishing well seem in poor taste or will guests be grateful for the easy way out? Leaving it up to the guests is certainly polite, but that’s how you end up with five vases, two toasters and a pasta-maker you are never, EVER going to use.

A farmer-turned-entrepreneur may have just found the solution, after launching an online service that allows guests to pay off parts of a gift of the couple’s choosing.

The soon-to-be-wedded couple choose a wedding gift or gifts – for example say a holiday or an expensive piece of furniture or artwork – and they create an ‘Occasion’ on the website, The Gift Collective. They then add images and details for each of the gifts and the website creates a Gift Puzzle.

A puzzle gets chipped off one piece at a time (Image supplied.)

Wedding guests are invited to log on and choose which pieces of the 'puzzle' they want to pay for, and therefore which present they are helping to buy their loved ones.

Gift Collective founder Charles Roche - who appeared on Channel 9's Farmer Wants a Wife - said he thought of the idea when planning his own wedding in 2013.

"It just made me think of all the weddings I've been to just as far as ticking something off (a gift registry) that didn't mean anything," the 38-year-old said.

"There's that whole angst around getting in early and not know if it's something added to the list so you just have the right number (of gifts) for all the guests."

Roche said he found wishing wells to be equally lacking meaning to both the couple and the guests, and wanted to develop a platform that "celebrates the couple" and improves the gift-giving experience.

Charles Roche (Image supplied.)

"Asking for money is awkward. People don't like people asking and they don't like giving money and it just doesn't feel like giving a gift at all."

The NSW man said by allowing guests to buy a piece of the puzzle they could see that they were "bringing that gift to life", which made the experience more meaningful.

Listen: Mamamia Out Loud discusses wedding present etiquette. Post continues below.

Roach suggested couples create puzzles with lots of inexpensive pieces, so guests can spend exactly how much they want.

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"Everyone is equal in feeling they've contributed to what is most important to the couple," he said.

"It's also good for people who are overseas, or can't come to the wedding... they know when they see them again, they can walk in and see that artwork and know they were part of the wedding."

These are out favourite on-screen weddings. (Post continues after gallery.)

He said couples were notified as each puzzle piece was purchased and could "watch their puzzle come together", but they also received printed cards with a message from the giver.

It's free for the couple to set up their Gift Puzzle and the website charges a flat-rate processing fee of three per cent to each gift-giver to cover costs, as well three per cent to the couple when they retrieve the total.

Roche said the Gift Collective could be used for other events, such as birthdays, baby showers or fundraisers.

Do you think this a better alternative to a wishing well? 

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